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Schedule filled with possible blowouts

Where's the parity?

The football linemakers apparently don't see it judging by the betting lines they established for Week Six of the NFL schedule. Of the 13 games on the schedule -- six teams have byes -- five had double-digit point spreads.

Washington, Dallas, San Diego, Denver and Chicago are all favored by healthy margins in a week where there are few top-drawer matchups. Biggest game on the docket is the Carolina-at-Baltimore interconference matchup. Next is Seattle at St. Louis in an NFC West struggle.

The Bills, a 40-7 loser at Chicago last Sunday, will be one of several teams trying to atone for a dismal performance a week ago. The Jets and Redskins played dreadfully as well, while the Lions blew a second-half lead and the Cowboys and Ravens failed major tests.

Game of the week

Panthers (3-2) at Ravens (4-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Ravens (-3)

The scoop: Ravens and Dolphins (both 2.9) are only team in league holding teams to less than 3 yards a carry. . . . Carolina has won its last three. . . . Ravens have allowed 46 points (9.2 average) in five games. Only the Bears (7.2) have allowed fewer.

Outlook: Baltimore offense still nothing to write home about. Carolina, 20-13.

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>Top attractions

Giants (2-2) at Falcons (3-1)

TV: Ch. 29, 1 p.m.

The line: Falcons (-3)

The scoop: Giants defense came up big at home in 19-3 win over Washington last week. New York pass rush can chase Michael Vick around for an afternoon.

Outlook: Eli Manning plays a big road game. Giants, 24-20.

*

Eagles (4-1) at Saints (4-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Eagles (-3)

The scoop: Eagles (417.9) lead the league in offense, and Donovan McNabb of the Eagles leads NFC with 107.2 passer rating. . . . He's averaging only 7.4 yards per reception but Saints rookie Reggie Bush leads the NFL with 34 catches.

Outlook: Eagles getting stronger each week. Philadelphia, 27-10.

*

Seahawks (3-1) at Rams (4-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Seahawks (-3)

The scoop: First place at stake in NFC West. Seahawks swept season series between teams last year, scoring 31 and 37 points. . . . Seattle coming off a bye week while Rams held on for 23-20 win at Green Bay. . . . Seahawks will be without RB Shaun Alexander. . . . Except for opening win over Denver, Rams have not impressed despite record with wins over Arizona, Detroit and Green Bay and a loss to San Francisco.

Outlook: Time for Seahawks to show their class. Seattle, 27-21.

*

Chiefs (2-2) at Steelers (1-3)

Kickoff: 4:15 p.m.

The line: Steelers (-7)

The scoop: Backup QB Damon Huard has directed Chiefs to wins the last two weeks. K.C. has won last two after losses to tough Bengals and Broncos. . . . Ineffective play (41.7 passer rating, no TD passes, seven interceptions) of QB Ben Roethlisberger is something with which Steelers have to be concerned.

Outlook: Steelers keep struggling. Terrible Towels help Pittsburgh win squeaker, 21-20.

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>Best of the rest

Bills (2-3) at Lions (0-5)

Kickoff: Ch. 4, 1 p.m.

The line: Bills (-1)

The scoop: Bills haven't visited Motor City for regular season game since 1994, a 35-21 loss on Thanksgiving Day. . . . While Bills were being humiliated in Chicago, 40-7, Lions were blowing 17-3 fourth-quarter lead in 26-17 loss at Minnesota. . . . Lions are averaging 265.8 yards per game through the air. . . . Detroit QB Jon Kitna has thrown six interceptions, three in the fourth quarter.

Outlook: The Lions are due while the Bills are shaky. Detroit, 24-21.

*

Bengals (3-1) at Buccaneers (0-4)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Bengals (-4 1/2 )

The scoop: Cincinnati had bye week to reorganize after getting handled by New England. Bengals' run defense, which was porous against Pats, shouldn't have same problem against Buccaneers, who average only 79.3 per game on the ground.

Outlook: Bengals a bit overrated. Cincinnati, 27-21.

*

Titans (0-5) at Redskins (2-3)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Redskins (-10 1/2 )

The scoop: Titans lost one-pointer at Indianapolis while Redskins were smothered by Giants' defense last week. . . . Ex-Bill RB Travis Henry has 205 yards and 4.2 rushing average to lead Titans, but rookie LenDale White is being worked into the rotation more and more each week. . . . Redskins QB Mark Brunell is 6-3 with 100.4 passer rating in last nine home games.

Outlook: Young and Co. throw scare into Redskins. Washington, 17-10.

*

Dolphins (1-4) at Jets (2-3)

TV: Ch. 4, 4 p.m.

The line: Jets (-2 1/2 )

The scoop: It's not a happy situation in Miami with benching of QB Daunte Culpepper last week after practice confrontation with coach Nick Saban. Joey Harrington expected to get second start for the Fins. . . . Miami lost at New England while Jets were suffering their worst shutout loss since 1975 in Miami. . . . Jets are giving up 148.6 yards on the ground and gaining only 96.8.

Outlook: Dolphins' defense should be in control. Miami, 19-10.

*

Chargers (3-1) at 49ers (2-3)

Kickoff: 4:15 p.m.

The line: Chargers (-10)

The scoop: San Diego leads the league in defense (204.5 yards per game) while no team has given up more points than the Niners (146). . . . First-year starter Philip Rivers of the Chargers ranks eighth in the league among passers.

Outlook: Bolts shut down Niners RB Frank Gore. San Diego, 31-13.

*

Raiders (0-4) at Broncos (3-1)

TV: Ch. 2, 8:15 p.m.

The line: Broncos (-14)

The scoop: Statistical oddity: Winless Raiders have scored five touchdowns, one more than the Broncos. Denver, though, has allowed only one TD to 12 for the Silver and Black. . . . Denver defense came through in 13-3 win over Ravens on Monday Night Football. . . . On Saturday, Raiders suspended Jerry Porter for four games for conduct detrimental to the team.

Outlook: More Mike Shanahan revenge. Denver, 20-3.

*

Bears (5-0) at Cardinals (1-4)

TV: ESPN, Monday, 8:30 p.m.

The line: Bears (-10 1/2 )

The scoop: Bears have dominated (54-26-6) rivalry that goes back to even before both franchises were based in Chicago, the Bears at Wrigley Field and the Cardinals at Comiskey Park. . . . Chicago has outscored its opponents, 156-36.

Outlook: November road games at Giants and Patriots are only tests left for Bears. Chicago, 28-7.

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>Dog of the day

Texans (1-3) at Cowboys (2-2)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Cowboys (-13)

The scoop: Texans are last in the league in defense and are only 29th in rushing offense. Not a formula for success. . . . Houston QB David Carr has top-ranked 108.9 rating and has 7-2 TD-INT ratio. . . . Who could blame Terrell Owens for blowing up after dreadful interceptions QB Drew Bledsoe threw last week when Cowboys had chance to tie game at Philadelphia?

Outlook: Texans hang in. Cowboys, 24-14.

e-mail: mnorthrop@buffnews.com

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